Nature Keeps Artist At Easel

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The paintings of Ruth Overton, the jewelry of Jim Garrity and the gourds of Dixie Guldner will be featured at the December art opening at Artists of the Rim Gallery on Saturday, Dec. 9.

The public is invited to meet the artists from 4 to 7 p.m. at the gallery at 408 W. Main St. in Payson.

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"Bird Cuisine," by Ruth Overton.

"Artists' receptions give us an opportunity to meet people in town, visit with them and establish a rapport," Overton said. "And it gives us a chance to show off our new work."

Artist of the Rim Gallery opened in September and, according to Overton, "It has surpassed our expectations. Everyone who comes in is so enthusiastic."

Art in the gallery will be discounted 15 percent for the month of December.

Over the years, Overton has shown in galleries in the Valley and Missouri.

"Co-op galleries are great, because you have a variety of work and everybody is interesting in showing, selling and knowing about the other artist's work."

Reception for work by Ruth Overton, Jim Garrity and Dixie Guldner

When: 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9

Where: Artists of the Rim Gallery, 408 W. Main St.

Even when she is not working at Artists of the Rim, Overton said she drops in to visit and see customers.

Overton has been painting professionally for most of her adult life. She owned an art supply store and gallery in Kansas City, Mo. for 15 years, then taught painting classes for 19 years.

Family, the wonderful weather and the friendly people brought her and her husband to Payson in 1988.

The natural world is where Overton finds inspiration for her wildlife, landscapes and floral paintings.

She often uses a combination of photographs from her files when composing a painting.

"When my husband was alive, he said, ‘I don't care how many pictures you take going down the highway, but I am not going to stop every time you want a picture. So, take pictures fast. I don't care if you waste some film'," Overton said.

Did he at least slow down?

"Not always," Overton said. "I got quite proficient at taking pictures at 60 miles per hour."

However, her next project, "Snow on the Agave (century plant)" will have to wait until snow comes to the Rim Country.

"The pictures I have are not what I need -- I want the snow on the cactus," she said, a soft stomp of her foot and a gentle laugh punctuate her enthusiasm for her art.

When Overton does not have an easel in front of her and a paintbrush in her hand, she writes poetry and her children have asked her to write down her life story. The latter, she plans as a project for the cold winter months.

After winter leaves Payson, the blooming flowers in Overton's garden will taunt her back to the easel.

"Each one that blooms I think is the prettiest flower I've ever seen and I have got to paint that one," she said.

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